SANTA CLARA — This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 1 Monday Night game against the Los Angeles Rams. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.
4:24 The 49ers announced they have waived running back DuJuan Harris and promoted wide receiver Chris Harper from the practice squad to the active roster. Strange move, considering Harper won’t be active on game days.
5:09 The Rams list only one linebacker among the starters on their depth chart — MLB Alec Ogletree. The Rams list Mark Barron as a “WS” which, I assume, stands for “Weak Safety.”
5:55 Anthony Davis is active. Here are the players who aren’t:
- G Joshua Garnett (rookie first-round pick).
- QB Christian Ponder.
- CB Keith Reaser.
- CB Chris Davis.
- OT John Theus.
- DT Glenn Dorsey.
- DT Taylor Hart.
5:57 It seems the starting OL will look like this:
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore
RG: Andrew Tiller
RT: Trent Brown
…and the starting DL will look like this:
LDE: Arik Armstead
NT: Mike Purcell
RDE: Quinton Dial
5:58 It also seems like Jimmie Ward will cover the slot receiver when the Rams use three-receivers sets. Rashard Robinson probably will be the third corner.
6:12 Here are the Rams’ inactives:
- QB Jared Goff.
- WR Pharoah Cooper.
- CB E.J. Gaines.
- CB Steve Williams.
- OT Pace Murphy.
- WR Nelson Spruce.
- DE Matt Longacre.
6:18 All six Niners’ wide receivers are active. How could this offense possibly need six wide receivers?
6:22 Chris Harper appears to be the backup punt returner, which probably explains his presence on the roster.
6:35 I imagine Jimmie Ward will cover Tavon Austin all night no matter where he lines up.
6:45 I will predict the final score at 7:00. Make sure you post your prediction before then.
7:00 FINAL PREDICTION: 49ers 13, Rams 16.
7:16 Eric Reid and the backup quarterback knelt during the National Anthem. Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold stood with raised fists. Quinton Dial stood and held the flag with the rest of the servicemen and women.
7:18 The Rams win the toss and choose to receive the opening kickoff.
7:26. Rams drive to midfield and punt. DeForest Buckner is starting in the base defense ahead of Arik Armstead, who’s playing on passing downs with Ronald Blair.
7:31 Blaine Gabbert completes a zero-yard pass to Quinton Patton on third-and-2 from the Niners’ 38 and they punt. Never change, Blaine.
7:36 Ahmad Brooks loops to the inside on third-and-9 from the Rams 10 and sacks Case Keenum for a six-yard loss. Niners’ ball at their 48 after a 54-yard punt.
7:44 Carlos Hyde scores an 11-yard touchdown on a counter run to the left from the shotgun. Rams seemed surprised by that play. 7-0 Niners. Gabbert scrambled for two first downs during that drive, and Shaun Draughn caught a seven-yard pass on third-and-6.
7:50 Tramaine Brock breaks up a short pass intended for tight end Tyler Higbee on third-and-4, and the Rams go three-and-out.
7:54 Andrew Tiller is injured after an 18-yard run by Hyde. Marcus Martin takes his place.
7:56 Draughn gains six yards on a Counter run to the left just before the first quarter ends.
7:58 Niners rushed for 70 yards in the first quarter.
7:59 Gabbert throws a low pass to Torrey Smith for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-1.
8:07 Quinton Dial tips Keenum’s pass and NaVorro Bowman picks it off at the Niners’ 41. The Rams would be better off handing the ball to Gurley every single play.
8:10 The previous play is under review. Bowman may have bobbled the ball.
8:11 Call is confirmed.
8:16 Draughn runs around the outside for a three-yard touchdown on first-and-goal. Gabbert converted a fourth-and-6 a few plays earlier with a nice pass to Jeremy Kerley. 14-0 Niners.
8:17 Niners have a 107 rushing yards with 8:16 left in the first half. Game over. Rams did not come prepared.
8:19 Hyde took himself out of the game after getting blasted on first-and-10 from the Rams’ 21.
8:23 Jimmie Ward breaks up a pass intended for Tavon Austin on third-and-5 and the Rams punt.
8:25 Hyde is back.
8:30 Gabbert checks down to Draughn, who makes a couple moves and fumbles. Rams recover at their 39 with 3:17 left.
8:34 Keenum throws incomplete on third-and-8 and the Rams go three-and-out. Keenum is awful. Hard to believe he’s better than Jared Goff.
8:39 Niners go three-and-out after Gabbert throws a perfect pass to Rams defensive back LaMarcus Joyner who drops the easy interception. Rams’ ball at their 39 with 1:07 left.
8:42 Arik Armstead sacks Keenum on third-and-15 and the Rams go three-and-out. Their offensive coordinator is clueless. I’ll explain why at halftime.
8:44 Excellent run-blocking by the entire 49ers offense, not just the offensive line. Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley stood out among the wide receivers.
8:45 Excellent lateral pursuit by the 49ers defense. Terrible offensive design by Rams novice offensive coordinator Rob Boras, who has done nothing to get the Niners’ defense to back off. He hasn’t challenged the Niners’ secondary with any deep throws, and he’s using a vanilla two-back offense that provides no space for Gurley to run. Boras needs to spread out the Niners so Gurley doesn’t always have to run into a phone booth.
8:59 Gabbert catches his own deflected pass and loses 16 yards on third-and-4. Niners go three-and-out. Austin returns the punt to the Rams’ 41.
9:04 Rams go three-and-out after two Gurley runs into a phone booth and a short completion on third down. The Rams’ OC doesn’t get the concept of stretching the field vertically or horizontally.
9:08 Gabbert throws behind Kerley on third-and-8 and the Niners go three-and-out.
9:13 Ward knocks down Keenum’s pass on third-and-5 and the Rams go three-and-out. Hard to believe Keenum is still in the game, not to mention the league.
9:17 Gabbert completes a pass to Kerley for a loss of two on third-and-10, and the Niners go three-and-out. They should just take a knee every play.
9:23 Rams give the ball back four plays later. They gave the ball to Gurley in a spread one-back formation on first down and he gained 10 yards. Then they gave him the ball in a condensed two-back formation and he gained two yards. Terrible coaching.
9:27 Gabbert throws wide of an open Torrey Smith on third-and-8 and the Niners go three-and-out again. Austin returns the punt to the 49ers’ 38.
9:31 Keenum throws a pass directly to Ray Ray Armstrong. Interception. Rams were close to the red zone.
9:34 Gabbert completes a 13-yard pass to Patton on third-and-8 just before the end of the third quarter.
9:43 Gabbert throws a touchdown pass to Vance McDonald on third-and-goal from the 8. 21-0 Niners.
9:51 Keenum goes three-and-out again. The Rams should have benched him at halftime. A drunk Johnny Manziel would have played better.
10:00 Aaron Donald just got ejected for making contact with an official. Sore loser. This team is a joke.
10:04 Hyde scores a one-yard touchdown run a few plays later. 28-0. The Niners had to win this game and they did. Good for them. Stay tuned for grades.